Two years ago if anyone had suggested that one day I would become an avid Seahawks fan and experience a shamanic lesson while watching a football game I would have thought they were a little crazy.
Shamanism and football? What could one possibly have to do with the other? Apparently a lot when the football team we are talking about is the Seattle Seahawks.
Last year, inspired by the Super Bowl fever that swept Seattle, I wrote Go, Sea Hawks! which touched upon the energetic and spiritual significance of animal/team totems.
This year I have been swept up in the enthusiasm of friends, neighbors and total strangers wearing the team colors—the 12’s. For those of you who might not know, the number “12” represents all the fans who support a football team. According to Wikipedia, “As most football leagues allow a maximum of eleven players per team on the playing field at a time, referring to a team’s fans as the 12th man implies that they have a potentially helpful role in the game.”
As someone new to being a fan I feel that Seattle takes the concept to a whole new level. Symbols have power, and Seattleites fiercely embrace their roles as 12’s. The number 12 is being worn by almost everyone on shirts, hats, jackets, scarves, etc. As a banner the 12 hangs from porches and windows, is stuck to cars in magnet form, and appears after dark in lights on one office building in downtown Seattle. The iconic Space Needle is lit by the team colors and proudly flies the 12 flag.
Shamanism is based on the belief everyone is connected by lines of energy—what affects one, affects all. This belief is most commonly represented as All Our Relations—kinship with all life in its many forms—but it can also be applied to the concept of the 12th Man.
In my role as a shaman or medicine person it could be said that Seattle is my village. I wanted to support my village so I began watching the games. Growing up with a mother who was passionate about football I had some awareness of the rules, but would never have called myself a fan. That began to change this year as I surrendered to the enthusiasm of the 12’s and became a 12th Man.
During the first game I watched my normally quiet household was electrified by my cheering and yelling. My 18 year-old cat Cougar took it in stride (or maybe simply did not hear me since his hearing has declined), however Sand totally freaked out. Her eyes were huge, and she wondered if we were under attack. I reassured her that in this case my yelling was a good thing, and that I was happy. From then on she became a fan, and would caterwaul along with me in her Siamese-style voice. It appeared that the team had acquired a 12th Cat as well as a new 12th Man/Shaman.
Then came the big game. The Championship game everyone is still talking about—Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks.
I was nervous for our team—would we make it to the Super Bowl again? As the game progressed and we were scoreless going into halftime I still felt hopeful, but the tension was wearing on me. I sent Reiki to myself and to the situation for the highest good, but by the third quarter Green Bay was still in charge and we were still scoreless, and I began to feel a sense of hopelessness weighing me down. It looked like there would not be enough time to pull it together.
By now Sand had settled into lying on me in reassurance, and I realized that the downward spiral of my belief was an old emotional pattern, and one that I definitely did not want to keep. I realized that I was not living in the moment—I was projecting into the future. The football was still in play and anything could happen. Shamanically and energetically our vision, support and positive intent make a difference in the world. As a 12th Man I did not want to be a drag on the team—I needed to shift my downward spiral and clear that piece of old, stuck energy with the assistance of my shamanic allies, which I did—all while the game continued.
I sat in front of my TV with perspective restored. Feeling rather like the little boy in The Polar Express who had difficulty believing in Santa Claus, I chanted, “I believe, I believe, I believe,” and put my heart into it. I committed.
And then the miracle happened. With only minutes remaining the Seahawks made some amazing plays that had me yelling joyfully, and Sand was yelling right along with me. The score was now tied.
The game went into overtime and I was on the edge of my seat. Sand’s tail was all bushy from the excitement, and I kept trying to calm her down. When the Seahawks scored the game-winning touchdown both the stadium and my living room went crazy. I was so overcome I was both cheering and crying, and Sand was yelling and dancing around me with her tail all bushy, demanding to be picked up. As I looked down at her I decided that we were all getting Seahawks gear—shirts for me and a Seahawks collar for one of the cats. We were now officially fans.
Do I think that the Seahawks won because I believed? Shamanically-speaking the 12’s may have helped, but I think the Seahawks won because they stayed positive. They never stopped living in the moment and believing. What awed and inspired me was the power of their belief—what matters is how you play the game. It is important that you live your life with passion—bringing the best of who you are to every moment—and that you believe in yourself.
I do want the Seahawks to win their second back-to-back Super Bowl, and I believe they can do it. Feline-powerhouse-in-beast-mode Manitou volunteered to wear the 12th Cat collar, I have my game-day shirt, Sand is in fine voice, and there is now a Seahawks flag hanging my garden. This shaman and her allies are ready to support our team.
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A WILD WAY TO HEAL
Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is an animal communicator, Reiki Master Teacher, shamanic energy healer, and author. Her classes, sessions and ceremonial work are inspired by wild and domestic animals who have issued a call to action for personal and global healing.
Her book Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism features heartwarming stories about animals and their role in her evolution as an energy worker and shamanic healer.